SaaS Founder Interview with David Henzel, Co-Founder of Upcoach
Tony Zayas 0:06
Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the SAS founders show. I’m Tony Zayas. I’m your host here today. And I’m excited, somewhat excited. This is the last show of 2021. With the holiday break, or holiday up dirty here in the US next week, we’ll be taking next week off, and then we’re taking a hiatus for the month of December, we will be back that first week in January, we already have our first couple of months lined up for the new year. But this will be the last one of the year. So with that, I wanted to introduce today’s guests. We have David Hanson. He’s the CEO and founder of up coach and has a lot of experience to share. So David, welcome. And thank you for joining us here today. Really appreciate it. Let me make you the featured, you know, speaker here today, but awesome, David. Well, thank you so much for joining us.
David Henzel 1:03
Thanks for having me. Tony. Let’s close to your old strong last show.
Tony Zayas 1:06
Absolutely. No, it’s a great guest for our last episode of the year. Digger, would you mind tell us a bit about approach just tell us about the platform?
David Henzel 1:17
Sure. So Epcot was born out of the need that I have a portfolio of businesses and I was coaching the leadership teams of my businesses, and I was looking for a tool to do this better. And at first I had an an online course a do it yourself course, which only had a completion rate of 7%. And then I switched to group coaching. And we had a 93% completion rate. So this was kind of like the thing with it, okay, there’s really something there. And I started to build as the CTO of our business to build me something to stitch all these different tools that was using together. And that turned out to be really great. And I reached out to a friend of mine, Todd Herman, who is a cultural 25 years lady Oh, Jean, in the coaching space, he wrote a book, the alter ego effect. Me, some of you have heard of it. In our show showed him so they came, and I’m a coach by trade, but I built this coaching tool, what do you think, and he said this off small, small pain points. It’s amazing. I want to invest in become your business partner. And this is how we ended up building up coach and working on coining the phrase, have you talked about the category design on your podcast, you want to create an HTS, so human transformation system or HCP luxriot human transformation platform, because it’s really about transforming the lives of individuals and organizations so they can reach their full potential, which is very close to my personal mission. And so without coaching, it’s like it’s leveraged, so I can empower lots of coaches to have a lot of impact.
Tony Zayas 2:48
That’s awesome. So you really built this for yourself. And then when did you figure out you know, you wanted to, you know, turn this into a business this platform you developed, you know, for your own coaching?
David Henzel 3:02
once we started building it, and I just saw how well it worked on I saw the results of the of the group coaching and what kind of results we actually achieved by having this positive peer pressure versus like you buy courses and you never really touch it again. And then showing it to Todd and you know, a coach that has been coaching for over 25 years being blown away by this MVP that we’ve built. This is when I thought okay, let’s let’s kind of and also him pitching me like hey, let’s let’s let’s start this business together, which is something I really love doing because it’s really hard when people think okay, we’re gonna build a tool for the email marketing space and then other real email marketers. So do not they do not have felt the pain you know, and kind of if you can bring in this talent, somebody who is like a real rock center space and has been doing this for such a long time, they can give you help you to form the product in a way that you really build something that has product market fit, you know, because I can just like dream up stuff, but you know, I haven’t done it and then on the other hand, having a poster child like him being a customer or using it or endorsing it makes it much easier to get the market entry because you know he’s he’s very well known in the coaching space it was the kind of things like you know, a it’s very close to my personal mission be having Paul on board just makes so much sense to just like, push it and approach is like my main focus all the other businesses are run by either business partners or gyms. So yeah, I decided to go all in to coaching and share. Because you know, this is for for SAS founders. A cool story, a friend of mine told me about the general the American gentleman had thoughts, the Vietnamese general in the American Vietnamese war. And after many like, I don’t know, 10-15 years, the American president visited the Vietnamese president after the war was over. And the generals also met the American entity, the Vietnamese. And the American Journal asked like, Hey, man, how the hell could you beat us? You know, we had more, more resources we had better weapons, we have more people like you know how in the world we are able to beat us and Vietnamese General said like we understand the jungle better. And so this is kind of something that really stuck with me and I did a lot of research or interviewed hundreds of coaches can’t really figure out how to run the business and what are their pain points? And then, you know, talk coming in kind of seal the deal, because now we have this, i don’t know, unfair advantage in terms of building building something okay, then having this this expertise, and then our expertise in building great software tools, it’s like was it was a perfect marriage.
Tony Zayas 5:33
That’s awesome. So that coaching space has become really large. Do you guys have a specific kind of niche focus in not, you know, online coaching? Or is it obviously it’s a probably a platform that works for any type of coaching, but from go to market standpoint, who do you target?
David Henzel 5:55
It’s mainly business coaches, or in the initial phase, it’s coaches, coaches, because a coach that coaches other coaches and using a platform will, you know, automatically push their, their customers to use us as well. And also in the business coaching space. It’s also another focus, because we have a lot of tools that makes business coaching easier. And also, actually, you can run your business in upcoach. Having the SOPs there and having in meeting agendas, and you know, your one on one meetings, onboarding and training of people with courses and stuff like this, so we kind of like, yeah, run everything in there. And so a lot of business coaches actually push the customers to use it as well, because they can really keep the finger on the pulse and see how well the teams are performing. And give tips based on what they’re seeing in the system. It’s kind of like marrying CRM with the content delivery part, and accountability tools to give this transparency, if people are doing what they’re supposed to do or not.
Tony Zayas 6:51
It sounds like a real engagement platform, just by the nature of what you’re doing there. You know, we like to talk about, you know, onboarding, and like product stickiness, for all SAS products. So what are some of that stuff, you know, that you intentionally built with that in mind of, you know, the onboarding experience needs to get people in there coming back, you need some features that you want people to really need to be in there all the time. So they create that habit of —
of using it. Yeah.
So I would love to hear, how did you did you, you know, those features with intention?
David Henzel 7:33
Yeah, happy to share that. When I mentioned onboarding, it’s onboarding new team members into a business, you know, to kind of like have SOPs and videos and training stuff in there. So we can like have a smoother, better Omni experience, I have a few outsourcing businesses, and we have hundreds of employees. And so we hire a ton of people all the time. So it’s very handy when you can can, you know, have have this in this in this system. But going back to how we built this, we initially built something and then we got a 100 coaches in and then we closed the doors and didn’t let anybody else and we just want to really see how they’re using it and kind of what feature requests they have, etcetera. And after doing this, we saw that what we’ve built doesn’t really work because every coach wants to do something different. And they know they always want to change it up and we’re not as flexible. And I was like hitting my head against the wall, this this wall behind me it’s very against a wall. And then I realize, like, Hey, we’re gonna build something like Elementor in WordPress, not sure if you’re familiar with this, basically, it’s like a drag and drop builder where you can kind of like, customize and pull together, build your coaching program, the way you need it, you know, you need a course we need a habit tracker, or you need some to do tracking or you know, whatever you need, you kind of like, build it together and really customize it to the specific use case that you have. And then kind of tying all this stuff back to the CRM where you can kind of keep tab on like, do people do what they’re supposed to do versus like sending somebody a PDF to fill out with the smart documents where people fill them in next year, what percentage they’ve completed, you know, how much of the course they’ve completed, which open to lose, etc. So tying this together, and giving them the flexibility. And I intentionally did this because with the luxury we didn’t have to make money with it right away because of the other businesses funding it or me personally funding it had businesses before where we just like kind of did people want to pay us, you know, we just did, you know, kind of like ethnic prostitutes running to 10 different directions, which can be screwed with what we’ve built, you know, kind of like leading us off the path of the ideal customer profile we had in mind and you know, kind of like, yeah, and so it was a really good move to be take our time and learn from the people that we’re using it to really build something that’s super solid.
Tony Zayas 9:58
That’s cool. I mean, you mentioned and I read a little bit, you know, just in your profile just about, you know, your portfolio of businesses and other companies that you have. I would love to hear you know, some experience from you know what those are, but also really with talking upcoach, what what was it about upcoach that you saw, and it that you decided to make this your primary focus today.
David Henzel 10:26
So I’m a total vision mission values nerd, had to send my my last business MaxCDN, where we grew really fast, and we never really defined vision mission values. We thought you know, something that we you don’t really need you need, if you want to pitch an investor, then you kind of bury it on your website, you never look at it again, we didn’t understand we’re green behind the years. And with maximum, we grew super fast. We had a ton of people and we did not tell these people what are we about? What are we doing here, who we’re doing it for etcetera. So we end up running 10 different directions, no, head of engineering came from Splunk. And he built his crazy the Onyx engine on top of Axiom, which was awesome, but only for 5% of our customers. No head of sales was running after enterprise. Even though this was not a marketing, this was like it really screwed us over. And then we realized that this was because of lack of mission, vision, value, values and alignment. And then we implemented this and then the business really took off again. And so I became a total nerd in this this area. And then I started applying this to my personal life as well. And my family about to kind of really figure out my personal mission, my personal visions, family core values, etc. Which worked phenomenal for my wife and for us. And then that actually turned us to a course sharing this with other entrepreneurs, so they can implement this as well. Like, you know, it’s called Managing happiness, managing happiness, the common case, wanna check it out. And so my personal mission is to be a change agent who’s transforming the lives of individuals and organizations so they can reach their full potential. This is like what I found out with law of self reflection of what makes me the happiest, you know, and I always want to have impact. And actually, my wife went through breast cancer 10 years ago, nine years ago, 10 years ago, I think, knock on wood, she’s doing great today. But this was a big wake up moment for me, where I imagine myself laying on my deathbed looking back at my life thinking to do with or supposed to do that to have the impact that I want to have to live the life that, you know, I think, like, when I look back, it’s like, yeah, if Yeah, this was amazing. And I realize that it’s not the case, you know, it’s kind of more chasing money and stuff like this. And so I decided with my business card is to sell the business that we had back then, and kind of figure out what I really want to do, how I can have impact. And in retrospect, that could have actually kept the business because after reading a book, which I can highly recommend is called Conscious Capitalism. It’s by John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods. And the idea is that, you know, traditional reason for business to exist is to increase shareholder’s value. That’s the only reason why business exists, right? And the conscious way is you do with all stakeholders, meaning suppliers, customers, employees, society, your community, the planet, etc. So being a net positive in the world. And if you do this, then the business is the best vehicle to have a positive impact. And this really clicked with me. And so I, you know, decided to have outsourcing businesses, so I can employ lots of people and provide them a great job and la-la-la. And, you know, I was wanting to have impacts that way. But then when I realized that without Coach, I can actually leverage my personal mission and vision to empower a thousands of coaches to impact millions of people. Okay, that’s, that’s my jam. And I went all in on this one.
Tony Zayas 13:31
So awesome. That’s very inspiring. And I love it that we talk a lot about mission vision values. A kind of a guiding lifestyle, shed, yeah, that Northstar to drive business forward. So I love that. And I would, I would really like to hear a bit about how that has just influenced you said, you know, you adopted this into your personal life, your business, how is it impacted? Like the two and then, you know, how do you manage that work life balance or that harmony? How do you create that there? Because it sounds like you’re very focused on that. That’s a question we’d like to ask. But I would love to hear you say.
David Henzel 14:13
Sure. So before I get into the work life Integration Course, I think work lab work life balance doesn’t really work since tug of war. I have this amazing example from a friend of mine, who he called for if you’re the CEO of ring.com, you know, the doorbell thingy. I was talking with his head of engineering about mission vision values and how powerful it is to reach emergence in the business, which is basically at everybody in the business knows what to do without talking to anybody. It’s just clear, you know, this is what we do, based on mission vision values, and so they have this floodlights that goes on the side of the house, you know, and when somebody walks past a floodlight, you know detects that somebody’s walking through the lights go on, you see him on camera, you can say like hey dude, what are you doing on a property? If are called Police are whatever, right? Yeah. And engineer came to the head of engineering. So like, Hey, man have the best idea ever, we’re going to create the party mode. Basically, when you know, when music is playing, we turn on the party mode, because this thing has, you know, the lights and the microphone, and then can detect the music and flash with the light flashlights with the music. And if that’s the best idea ever, and you know, nobody could say like, Hey, dude, that’s a stupid idea, go back to your desk and keep on working, you know, and then this engineer would have been crushed, he never would have like hadn’t, you know, brought forward another idea, maybe it’s a good idea at some point. But he told him I came. That’s cool. But what does this have to do with our mission, which is to make neighborhoods safer? Yeah. And I was like yeah do it makes sense. And also in Canada, if you really hammer the mission vision values into people’s heads by explaining every decision that you make with their mission vision value, or every Charlotte that you give, every praise that you give, was tying it back to your mission vision values, then you can create this emergence. And just everybody knows what to do. And, you know can’t I have more than a handful of businesses. And they’re running very smoothly, because everybody knows why we’re doing this, who we’re doing this for, what our values are, etc. So kind of creating this emergence in the businesses, and also in my personal life, kind of like knowing what to do and why I do it. And I can kind of run all the big decisions in my life through this filter and see, am I in line with who I want to be, you know, or if I’m inspiring for some to something that I’m currently not. And I can add this in, for example, we have a lot of people in the Philippines who are amazing, but they don’t show initiative, they’re like, somewhat, you know, give them a task to do an awesome job, but they don’t know, maybe out of fear or whatever. And we want to hammer this into their heads, it’s a good thing, you know, you want to be proactive. So we added a new core value to our business that is focused on it has little Filipinos, which is initiative, you know, that when you see something, it can be improved to speak up, you know, and so, yeah, I’m an organization organization development nerd. So if you have read EOS, you know, entrepreneur operating system, traction, or at Starbucks, I love to nerd out on these, these things. Because I think this, you know, I felt, how painful it is, when you don’t have this stuff implemented in your business. And then, you know, actually I read traction, like a few years ago, and you know, all these things that are in there, we realized as well, but a lot of with a lot of blood, sweat and tears and not as I find that it’s good to stay have it, you know, so again, if you’re scaling a business, do yourself a favor and read through this, read this book and implement, it’s gonna make your life better.
Tony Zayas 17:31
That’s awesome. Yeah, we’re an EOS companies are super familiar. And yeah, it’s good stuff. I would like to along those lines, so knowing that you aren’t US company, I have a sense of, of how you might do this. But I would love to hear a little bit more about how do you take, you know, you have this vision as the founder, this incredible ideas and across, you know, multiple businesses? How do you take that and articulate it in a way that you know, a new employee or someone has been with you for a long time? And now you’re really clearly defining things? What does that communication look like? How do you tell that story? How do you get the buy in? And what are the ways that you get that out, I’m sure you got to do it. With consistency and clarity–
David Henzel 18:21
I can talk at length about this–
Tony Zayas 18:21
Yeah I would love to hear it so
David Henzel 18:25
So we kind of started the beginning when we hire we record a video, the hiring manager records a video kind of going over the job description. So this person kind of like really understands what this job entails. And he also sees the person that he’s going to work with, he’s like, you know, with this crazy German, I don’t want to work with this crazy Germans are kind of like self selects, right. And then, you know, for example, it makes the end we had the core value, which was make a build cool shit was like our first core value. And that’s two things, you know, like hey it attracts engineering nerds because we’re very engineering heavy, and it repels people who want to come to work with a suit and tie who get offended by you know, a company having to watch it in their, in their core values, right. So this is like kind of the initial step and once and we also talk about interview we talk about our mission vision values. And then once people signed the contract with us the last page is our core values and have to initial next are the for sign next to each core value at the bottom. So you know, if you don’t live up to these, this will be a reason for termination, because we really want you to live that single contract. And then once they’re in we do once a month, we do a call where we go through our mission vision values with all the new hires and we talk about with our core value stories. So basically, on each core value, we tell two or three stories, how we live these core values in the business so people can kind of relate those people don’t read stories, you know, because it’s just like saying something you know, we will never know COVID is love, not fear people will like what the heck you know, so then you need some context. And then we have like monthly town halls where we give people shout outs based on core values, you know, slide Like a constant, you have to kind of really hammer this in people’s head to the point where they get tired of it. But this is then when it really sinks in.
Tony Zayas 20:07
I love it, that’s fantastic. We do the same thing with the shout outs and judging people for living the core values. So, really cool, it always gets a lot of good discussion, people feel good about it, when they’re living up to that and being acknowledged. So, really–
David Henzel 20:25
Another another big thing is you have to also do the things that are painful living up to quarrels, for example, you know, one of our core values is fun and harmony. So we basically we fire people who are dicks, customers, or employees, you know, if if somebody’s like, not, you know, you spent so much time at work, like, it should be a pleasure, you know, it should be not not, you know, and so we just, yeah, you know, and people have to see that you actually living up to this, you know, and also they have to understand that they can also criticize the leadership team. Well, first of all these people first, our customers, our employees, our number one priority. So if we’re not living up to this, people can like give us treats for like, Hey, this is not an unlined. And nothing before we get something, it’s, it’s phenomenal. We have something, it’s called the error log, where we add every mess up every complaint, whatever that happens, we add to this error log. And in every level 10 meeting we go through is one of the agenda points is look into the error log. And then in there’s like, which customers affected when it happened, who reported that description of what actually actually happened? The status of it? And most important, how are we going to make sure that this will never happen again? Which SOP do we have to change that this will never happen again? So we become a self healing machine right? And also having this culture that it’s okay to mess up around, it’s okay to commit mistakes. And everything’s cool. And I’ll you will never get in trouble. But if you don’t add this to the error log are going to rip your head off. You know, so because we want to be self healing machine can’t people should understand this, you know, and this has been like crazy impactful that we always like, you know, yeah, be turning this into us self healing machine that always improves SOPs and gets–
Tony Zayas 22:17
Cool concept. Yeah, I’ve never, never heard of something exactly like that. Very interesting. How long have you been doing that?
David Henzel 22:27
For years, maybe?
Tony Zayas 22:30
And so you’re actually creating updates to SOPs and things like that from the error log?
David Henzel 22:37
Tony Zayas 22:38
That’s our truly becomes the self healing machine. Yeah, it’s awesome. So tell me a bit about the team at upcoach.
David Henzel 22:51
Team is upcoaches is pretty lean, because we have been working on it for two years now a little over two years, but we didn’t really market it. Because, you know, as I told you, we just got a few people in, we just want to really build it. super solid. We are its business partners is Todd Herman. He focused on sales, marketing, mainly marketing CMO, me, the CEO, and our CTO, CTO, my Twitter, because also here in Portland with me. And then we have customer success person support person, for developers, marketing person, QA person, or forgetting and head of product. That’s like kind of how we keep it very lean. Yeah. And now that we’re scaling, we will add more customer success slash support, just like that, the next thing that we’re working on another thing we’re adding as well, most likely, we’ll call them up admins, basically. People who are like supposed admins, administrative support people that are trained by us on certain SOPs that can be beneficial in the coaching space, and also really understand upcoach really well, that people can then you know, add to their, to the plan, right, kind of like for 10 hours, 20 hours, 40 hours per week. Because a this gonna, you know, just make coaches lives much easier. If you have somebody who’s like really trained on that, and I can help them with with the legwork. And, you know, for us, it’s additional revenue, it’s always good to learn of service revenue on top of SAS, if you stay under 15% product or service revenue, and the rest of SAS revenue, your valuation will not change, you still have the same SAS multiples. It’s kind of like a little side note, that’s very easy to just add at revenue and value. And since I have the outsourcing companies, it’s very easy. We can just like now have a really good recruiting and training machine to just have this
Tony Zayas 25:02
That’s, that’s great. So those that admin role is that a new, like support feature that you’re offering?
David Henzel 25:11
We haven’t we haven’t. I think we’re gonna be doing it internally only right now I think in February, we should probably launch it. But don’t quote me on that.
Tony Zayas 25:21
That’s that’s cool.
David Henzel 25:24
We’ve been doing this with with my other businesses, you know, healthy plus, we provide fair payment recovery agents, laughter agents, support agents with test drive sales, development reps and lead researchers, which hotlist backlink building an SEO audits. So we’ve been working with SaaS companies to, you know, just add a button in there. For example, if your live chat software, like add an agent, click and then this generates lead plus and then with Delphi plus, and then we fulfill as agents. So it’s like a very easy way to fill, you know, to close a customer success gap that your customers have, you know, they need more agents, and easy way to find them. And you know, kind of create this win win win situation where your customer wins, you win because you make extra money of it. And extra money off like different agents and extra money off like because then you have another seat that you sell. And we also make money. So it’s, I’m a huge integration marketing nerd. So guys, if you’re listening to this in here, for software in the SEO space in the support or chat space, or in the sales space, hit me up and you know, we can very fast increase your revenue. And the mind boggling thing was a very close friend of mine just raised the 40x revenue valuation, that’s for zero, right, like, insane. He raised like $187 million, or something like this, and I thought that this will be a chat app. And he adds like one live chat agent, let’s say cost $2,000 a month, times 12, you know, per year, and then times 40 like adding one simple support agent makes you company valuation $1 million higher, like absolutely blew my mind, you know, so that’s, that’s the quickest way for you SaaS business to, you know, pump up the revenue, make more money and also make your customers happy. And because we white label this for you, you don’t have the headache of running a people business because like it’s a very different skill set, you know, running a software product and running a people business and
Tony Zayas 27:24
so when I’m sure that comes from you, knowing the space and what’s needed there. So again, another reason that having that expertise is a big advantage, knowing that that admin role is something that would be beneficial to so many of your customers.
David Henzel 27:41
That’s Todd’s expertise.
Tony Zayas 27:45
Okay, I was gonna ask you, so you and Todd are the founders, then you guys are co founders on this.
David Henzel 27:52
Yes, me Todd and, and Merritt. Todd joined a little later, if you’re working on for a year or so, but he using it internally only, you know, and then with him coming on board, and then we decide on the name and it was under managing happiness calm before other, you know, my coaching group coaching course. And then we went to the other end, you know, now measuring happiness, taking the customer of upcoach and turn this into a platform that everybody can use.
Tony Zayas 28:18
Very cool. I was going to ask, you know, so how do you? How do the three co founders, you know, it sounds like you’ve kind of spelled that out a little bit, but I would like to hear a little bit deeper. How do you guys you know, do you guys have lanes that you stay in? Where your focus as CEO? is, you know, somewhat unique? I’m sure there’s some areas of overlap, but how do you guys you know, break up and manage different pieces of the business.
David Henzel 28:45
I mean, talk clearly focuses on the marketing piece. And I just focus on, you know, a small company cannot come on everything, herding cats, hiring people that kind of like the domain thing, focusing on you know, mission vision values and culture and SOPs just kind of make sure that the trains run on time basically. And Merritt is focusing on the technical side managing the developers but I guess on the we haven’t read very good we play together very well because you know, we bring the the SaaS experience and Todd brings the coaching experience together so we always have like, you know, very fruitful discussions and I think it’s also good iron sharpens iron, you know, if you wouldn’t iron I was going to cut through if you know, I kind of always my opening always overwrites you at some point. I become dull but if you’re also iron then we kind of sharpen each other so like you know, kind of this discussion always helps us to come come to the right conclusions if your business partners always has the same opinion as you then you don’t need a business partner. Same Same Same in marriage. You know, I’m having my wife has a very strong personality and I wouldn’t want it any other way because like she helps me to just like, be on my toes and grow and you know, kind of growing together.
Tony Zayas 30:01
Yeah, the yins to the yangs. So it’s pretty interesting. So how do you how do the three of you communicate on that level of, you know, finding and maintaining mission vision values strategic planning? How do you guys, what is the interaction between the founders look like?
David Henzel 30:24
You know, since we’re rather small, you know, we just have calls to a 90 day plans actually not really 90 plus, like more monthly plans, kind of mini specking out which are the product features that the most customers are screaming for, like, right now and then also, I think the, the tough thing is, because we could build everything like what don’t you build? You know, where do you partner? Where do you find integration partners? You know, for example, we decide, we only focus on the delivery and transformation part, you know, kind of being HDS a human transformation system? By the way, I would love feedback from people like HDS. How does how does the sample has to bring to this? Yeah, I think it’s viable, because we just, it’s fairly new, but I think something along these lines module, coined the phrase, and we decided not to do any building parts, you know, or not do any, like front end website building stuff, you know, because like, all these coaching tools, are course, softwares like, kind of focus heavily on this, we just want to focus on the transformation part, you know, because it’s like, you could there’s like, a million other tools we can do, you know, the marketing aspect, we just want to focus on the delivery. And then, you know, it makes it much easier to decide what what we will be building next? And also, what do we say not to because people always want everything?
Tony Zayas 31:43
Yeah. How do you take user feedback, factor that into, you know, you’re planning your roadmapping going into the direction you go from a product standpoint?
David Henzel 31:57
On a case by case basis, if it makes sense? Yes, if not, it’s, it’s also kind of, like, we kind of like have our roadmap set will be things like the next thing, and he kind of like, you can’t change it up too much. Because, you know, take some time to spec stuff out and stuff, you know, so we’d like a rule, like, if something’s so urgent, that has to be done two weeks, we don’t do it, you know, because we want to make sure we have, you know, we don’t it’s like a production line, you know, anymore, like, you know, like this, this machine is was this, this factory is working, it can’t just kind of like, cut in line can’t do, something’s always gonna mess it up. And so even though it’s like, it’s always tempting, but you know, it’s me, me protecting the developers and from from impulses coming from customers, myself, and thought, Oh, we shouldn’t need to this. Let’s chill, let’s put this into the, into the factory, and it’s gonna, like, come to the point eventually.
Tony Zayas 32:52
So you believe in maintaining that focus. And, and only if you have input that’s in alignment with perhaps your future plans already, maybe helps boost maybe the priority level of something, but you don’t want distractions and
David Henzel 33:09
Yeah, yeah, or maybe like kind of tweaks of like, you know, Knuth perspectives some things, but, you know, like, things have to be properly specked out by, you know, kind of like, Amazon, they have, like, they read these six pages, on any project that they propose kind of like a kind of really do some thinking before you start developing. Because, you know, you kind of like, want to think stuff through before you give it to the dev team, even though it’s like, yeah, just build something like this, you know, like, it doesn’t fly. Just be disciplined and speak it up first.
Tony Zayas 33:42
Yeah, I think that’s a smart approach for sure. David, just to shift gears a little bit, I would love to hear about it, you know, in all your experience, from a standpoint of you know, as you lead a platform related to coach who would you relied on for coaching, mentorship? Are there any communities you’re a part of mastermind, so on and so forth. Just help you learn because as founders, it can be lonely and obviously running a platform related to coaches, you get this but we’d love to hear how you’ve incorporated just how do you learn from others? And who are those people you go to?
David Henzel 34:28
So I love pure learning. I love masterminds. You know, it’s, you know, I hate the word gurus, like you’re kind of following somebody or just, you know, pure learning is the way how I can consume information best and I’m part of a lot of different masterminds. I just went to Eric Susan Neil Patel’s marketing mastermind in Miami just came back as well, some jetlag and a little pale. I only slept one hour after like a very long trip. But yeah, from the phenomenal content always learned so much and get inspired by this our Charlotte my management mentor Dario who used to manage thousands of people at Xerox back in the day he was the CEO of my old business partners previous company and Collignon pulling him in and teaching me the ropes at some point we’re all young and dumb and green behind us and just go learn from people have been there and done that. So I’ve always been heavily relying on people who are much smarter than me in certain areas and learn from them and also consuming an insane amount of books I like I like jogging you know, travel lots and how is consumed audiobooks set on two extra speed. And, you know, always a lot of love learning. I dropped out of school when I was 15 went to 14 different schools, troubled students and just didn’t fit in there but I love learning. So I continuously always consume stuff.
Tony Zayas 35:58
Any book recommendations for SaaS founders off the top of your head?
David Henzel 36:06
US if you haven’t read it, you know traction by Gino Wickman. Definitely a good one then. Mindset wise, I really love the Four Agreements. Kind of like yes to get rid of self limiting beliefs and stuff like this and kind of like create peace in your your heads on what to focus on. I’m a huge Napoleon Hill fan. If you read thinking grow rich, and Outwitting the Devil, which is absolutely mind blowing to me, I think these are the three books that had the biggest impact in my life. So I can highly recommend to you consider it, even though it’s like a little hippie. But it’s it definitely makes sense.
Tony Zayas 36:52
Yeah, we have some definitely common interests in those books. Because those, those three are all towards the top of my list as well. So pretty cool.
David Henzel 37:03
Give me another one I’m always looking for for new good stuff.
Tony Zayas 37:07
Ya have to think about it. There’s there’s so many that’s the problem is my flip list. You know, kind of ongoing? Yeah, I would love to hear a bit about you know, what’s, what’s on the horizon for next year here for upcoach?
David Henzel 37:26
Feature wise, or?
Tony Zayas 37:27
Just business in general? Yeah, feature people, you know–
David Henzel 37:31
World domination, of course, you know. Just like we’re gonna cool partnerships, because I’m huge Integration Marketing nerd, you know, I think this is like the the way to go, we are working on a chat feature. So you can kind of replace your slack and kind of like, have all the internal communication inside of upcoach as well. Nothing’s gonna really cool. And just really scaling, I want to put them next year, like five extra team, I think, also will push.
Tony Zayas 38:08
Very cool. So I’ll share my book recommendation. So it’s a very short one. But it’s Dan Sullivan, the self managing company. Pretty interesting. It’s all about getting people who can really get focused on what they’re passionate about what they’re really good at. And you grow business that way by getting the right people in the right seats and all that. So pretty cool. Super short rates, I think that might be an interesting one. So David, you know, a question just to before we wrap up, I guess, where can people find out more about you, your portfolio businesses, obviously upcoach a lot of good stuff to check out. So you know, this is just a chance to tell people where they can find you and yourself.
David Henzel 38:56
Sure. So um, you can find more about my portfolio on how we solve.com And also, it’s also a podcast that I have, and hence a lot calm, which is my personal page. And if you want to reach me, you can always email me at David at Hensler comm or find me on LinkedIn or, or any other social network, but please let me know that you found me on Tony’s podcast, because I was getting a lot of spam requests as well. And you mentioned that then I’ll definitely connect with you.
Tony Zayas 39:27
Oh, very cool. So I guess last question, this is the last question of the year on the show for us. Right?
David Henzel 39:35
So hopefully I’ll make it a good one.
Tony Zayas 39:37
So, David, if you were to step back and be able to I’m gonna go way back for you. But if you were able to go back in time, and sit down with yourself prior to launching your first business and have a cup of coffee, what’s the one piece of advice that you would share with your, your former self?
David Henzel 40:02
Okay, it’s a good one, it’s gonna be a little lengthy answer, but I think it’s gonna be valuable. So I’m a recovering introvert. And I used to be very introverted, even kind of being uncomfortable on the conference call. And this was holding me back massively in business. And then I saw a friend it was like when our best friends now, how he was networking in independent, like, how beneficial this was for businesses like, Okay, I want this, like, how do I get this? So I did Toastmasters, which is public speaking classes. I did this twice a week, and I went to two networking events per week, until I kind of overcame my shyness by exposure therapy, I guess, right? But the real switch in my head happened when my yoga teacher said, every decision in life, you either make it of love or out of fear. And you may think, like, what the heck does this have to do with business, but let me let me explain. For example, sales, I used to hate sales with a passion because I always felt like a used car salesman shoving something down somebody else’s throat, right. But if I sell over love, if I sell, you know, product approach to somebody where I see, hey, this can really improve his life or his business or, you know, come for his coaching customers, I can even be pushed into like Tony freakin by this gonna be amazing, you know, because I’m doing this other fluff because I want to help you, I want to improve your life. Versus if I do it for me, I do it because I have to pay my mortgage have to pay, you know, my, you know, my numbers or commission, money startup life, you know, it doesn’t work, I can’t, you know, I can sell I can close or public speaking, you know, I would have preferred to shoot myself in the face versus standing in front of a large audience and speak. But if I act because of fear, I think about me about the other thing, but do they think I look, where do they think I have a weird German accent, do they think what I’m saying is stupid, whatever, right? I can’t perform the share of love, because I know what I can share, you can help them not from the business, I can give a great presentation, you know, same with being on podcasts or whatever, or in managing people. My, when we grew fast MaxCDN we had like an internal communication problem, because we’re not new as yet, etc. And so I asked my system to go to each department had compiled what we’ve done this week, what are you gonna do next week, and, you know, create this internal newsletter. And every time she gave me the draft, I had to correct a million things. So I set it down to like, Hey, you’re doing this thing out of fear, not love. And she looked at me like, WTF what do you from me? And totally, if you do this out of love, you’d go to each department and figure out, you know, what, what, what they’ve done, et cetera, also, the CTO has done, because she was not super technical. And you’d compile it in a way that everybody gets in German and great information. And looking forward to the next one, all of this, then you’d love but you only do it because David said, this thing has to go out at 4pm on Monday. And this really clicked with her and never had to correct anything. At some point. We even had like a really cool video newsletter. Point being, I can go on and give you more examples. But I will tell my previous self, figured out how you can always make decisions out of love and not out of fear and you’ll be on the right track. And then everything you do, it’s my personal mantra.
Tony Zayas 43:10
I love it. That’s really powerful. You had me at recovering introvert, or one of those. So I love that story. And the way you approach it, it really is a mindset thing, and that, you know, approach of doing everything out of love instead of fear. It’s awesome. So fantastic. David, thank you so much for spending your time here today. I encourage everyone to go check David out. Take a look at him on LinkedIn, but visit upcoach.com And look at what they’re doing. They’re really cool stuff. I appreciate you sharing your experience and wisdom with us, David, to everyone tuning in. Thank you so much. We will see you guys again. In the new year. We have a bunch of stuff coming with the show that we’re doing with you know, the interviews we’ve had this year. So exciting things we’ll be doing next year that we’ll be announcing but again, thank you so much, David hands off from upcoach. We will see you guys everybody next time. Have a great end of Year everybody and happy holidays.
David Henzel 44:10
Thank you the only open close out strong.
Tony Zayas 44:12
Thank you, so much.